Monthly Archives: August 2011

Sources: Tim Wakefield no longer plans to thank God when he wins No. 200

Is Tim Wakefield the victim of some sort of divine act of statistical balancing?

While largely an arbitrary and meaningless statistic, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield’s career wins total is evidently garnering a fair amount of attention from the heavens.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, Red Sox clubhouse insiders confirmed Monday that Wakefield no longer plans to publicly tip his cap to the heavens upon winning his 200th major league game because the 45-year-old is thoroughly convinced The Man Upstairs clearly has lost interest in further assisting him in his journey to accumulate a gaudy, round number of wins.

After his fifth failed attempt at 200 in Kansas City, Wakefield could be heard in the visiting team’s clubhouse muttering under his breath, “This is bullshit. This is bullshit…” over and over.

“I think this is probably His way of punishing Tim for his past wizardry. Those fluttering pitches can really take some ungodly dips and turns. Wake’s stuff really hasn’t looked any different over the last month, but clearly there is a higher power at work, especially when the bullpen comes in to try and polish off the game,” said one scout.

Wake’s next shot at 200 comes on Friday night at Fenway Park against the Oakland Athletics.

“Clearly, Tim’s on his own on this one,” observed another scout. “Really, though, who can blame Him? The guy’s a freaking sorcerer when that pitch is working.”

Indeed, Wake’s been defying the odds for years, going against what was ostensibly His Plan for Tim’s career to peter out as an outfielder in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system in the early 1990s. By developing the pitch, Wakefield followed the path of guys such as The Niekro Brothers and Charlie Hough–perfectly innocent former major leaguers who just so happen to have names that sound like they could have moonlighted as brutal serial killers.

A local historian: “If olde-tymey Puritans still lived in New England, they’d be Yankees fans…No way they’d root for a team with Tim on it. The initial settlers of Massachusetts were firm believers in long work days, fear of a higher power and violent pitching motions that put extreme stress on the shoulder and elbow. To them, the knuckleball would have been akin to sleeping for more than three hours each night. And, of course, the fact that a speedy man of Native American descent in center field tracks down many of the well-struck baseballs thrown by Wakefield would not have aided the pitcher’s cause if our forefathers had any say.”

Indeed, it appears that God has clearly enjoyed toying with Wakefield over his last five starts—even going as far as allowing him to take a no-hitter into the fourth inning in his last start at Fenway Park on August 3 against Cleveland. The first Indians hit was a 400-foot home run that landed in the visitor’s bullpen.

“Wake is just sick of it,” said one observer. “The mental anguish, the constant questions from reporters – he’s tired of it all.”

Still, some theologians believe the saga accentuates some important issues in the ongoing debate between the doctrines associated with intelligent design and Darwinism.

“This certainly gets down to the crux of the matter,” said one professor. “I would point out that Wakefield does have 177 career losses…So perhaps there is an equally strong argument that some mystic entity still has a say in where the knucklers flutter, so to speak. Maybe there is some sort of universal regression to the mean occurring right now. Or, maybe, we just need to come up with a better way to express the value of starting pitchers…”

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Clay Buchholz’s Love Doctor Mailbag: August Stretch Run Edition

Frontline Sox starter Clay Buchholz may not pitch again in 2011 after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back. His potential loss for the season is a significant blow to the team and could mark the end of yet another solid year on the mound for the young right-hander. Somehow, he managed to answer some pressing questions from readers in between medical appointments and rehab sessions.

Back when he was still single, sometimes ladies' man Clay Buchholz had to get a bit creative, as shown above, in remembering if he had been with a woman the night before (AP Photo).

Clay,

What is with all this “moral compass” talk being shoved down our throats by the local media?

-Jeannie from Foxboro

I don’t know, Jeannie. I’ve been to The Moral Compass, if that’s what you mean. It’s a strip club off Route 128 and the ladies who work there are fantastic. I’m always treated like royalty there and the women are super-ethical about giving you what you pay for.

Clay,

Kathryn Tappen is headed to the NHL network. Jade McCarthy finally admitted she’s seven months pregnant and moving out of the state. And rumor has it that Heidi Watney might be leaving after the 2011 season, too. Is it just me or are the NESN studios going to be a real sausagefest next year?

-Bill from N. Attleboro

That sounds terrible, bro. I’m glad I don’t have to watch the games on TV very often. I guess I’ve got another reason to plug away at my rehab so I can get back on the field. But I wouldn’t worry too much about it. John Henry seems like the kind of dude who’s willing to open up his wallet if that’s what it takes to get some good talent on the field and in the booth. Not having a beautiful baby touting NESN Daily or whatever else the channel programs in between Sox games is like going to a strip club that doesn’t have liquor or cigarettes. It’s more than just window dressing. Those dames need to be an integral part of the viewing experience.

Clay,

Have you seen that raunchy video that was shot in 1995 by an ESPN cameraman that’s been making the rounds on the Internets? This dude and another girl are totally groping this chick while they’re standing at the railing of the roof box pretending to pay attention to the ballgame. It’s almost as provocative as anything you see on stage at Centerfolds…

-Mike from Quincy

Yeah, Mike, that was pretty crazy. I’d expect that type of thing to happen all the time in empty outfield bleachers in minor league parks. But that much rubbing and tugging at Fenway Park not involving Julio Lugo is pretty shocking. It’s always funny to look back on how baggy people wore their clothes 15 years ago, but you gotta hand it to that chick: she set herself up for easier access and those two people reaped the benefits of a high-school-style threesome. Really, though, the most troubling part of the video is that neither broad appeared to have any tattoos or interesting piercings. JC Penney denim shorts don’t count as any sexy kind of freaky in my book…

Clay,

I’ve got a problem. I’ve been seeing this girl that I met during study hall last spring and we’ve been going out this whole summer. With school starting up again soon, we’re probably going to be an official couple and all. But lately she’s been pressuring me to do something that I don’t really think I’m into. She really wants watch me eat one of those new tuna salad sandwiches from Dunkin’ Donuts. I just don’t know, though. I mean, have you ever done anything like that? Those things don’t even look appetizing when they’re done up all nice and pretty on TV. I can’t imagine what one actually tastes like…

– Bryce from Salem

That’s easily the most disgusting question I’ve ever received in one of these mailbags, Bryce.

Clay,

The state’s unemployment rate is finally heading in the right direction. Have you noticed any discernible changes in staffing levels at strip clubs?

-Patrick from Winthrop

It’s interesting, Patrick. It actually seems like the pickings are slimmer than usual. I heard a bunch of dames went back to their day jobs working at hedge funds and private equity firms. If it gets much worse, the broad-to-dude ratio is going to reach dire levels, like almost as bad as the NESN studios…